When someone says 'landscaping,' the first thought that comes to mind probably isn't the front entrance of a New York City co-op or condo building, but greenery and other design elements definitely add to a building's 'curb appeal' and in a down economy, attracting buyers and increasing value for residents is a priority for any co-op or condo community.
The benefits of having greenery outside a co-op or condo building are manifold. First, there’s the environmental aspect. New York is not to be confused with the Amazon rain forest. Although there is a significant amount of parkland, there’s also a ton of asphalt and concrete—not to mention air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution, and so on. The presence of a few nice leafy plants in front of a building may not seem like much, but they do make a difference.
Green landscaping “fights pollution. It provides oxygen,” says Bill Vecchione, owner of B&G Outdoor Rooms/Landscapes LLC in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. “It cleanses the environment in any kind of urban area. It cleanses the sulfur and other pollutants. Trees eliminate noise, and they can screen off unsightly areas.”
Ken Smith, a New York-based landscape architect, agrees. “It reduces the heat index on a building, and therefore reduces the A/C load,” he says. “And it’s a habitat for birds.”
Then there are the aesthetic reasons. “It helps with a sense of entrance, which makes everyone feel good, and increases property value,” says Smith.